Making biscuits is an art form in the South and eating them, a mealtime tradition. Before the Civil War, biscuits were considered a delicacy and only served at Sunday suppers. These days, the smell of baking biscuits permeates the air daily as fast-food operations slip them by the bagful to hungry customers on the run.
Though there's nothing wrong with that, it pays to slow it down a bit. The craftsmanship of Southern biscuit making is something to be experienced and savored. Flaky, buttery biscuits are the draw at a multitude of South Carolina restaurants, cafes and diners, where the time-honored ritual of turning flour and fat into rich, luscious cakes is a calling card.
Here is a sampling of cafes and restaurants where biscuits are a hot commodity:
Biscuit Head, Greenville Crusty, cathead biscuits are the foundation of the menu at this Upstate favorite. Indulge your biscuit sandwich fantasy with options like brisket, catfish, country ham and fried green tomatoes. Or try a gravy flight - a choice of three gravies from a list that runs the gamut from espresso red-eye to chicken to house-made veggie chorizo.
Callie's Hot Little Biscuit, Charleston Callie's is a South Carolina superstar that's garnering nationwide attention. Founder Carrie Morey is dedicated to the Southern art form of biscuit-making, and you can tell with each bite of these tender, buttery biscuits made by hand by a skilled crew. If you can't get to Charleston, order your favorites online for enjoyment anywhere
Compton's Kitchen, West Columbia This bustling breakfast/meat-and-three has been serving hungry folk since 1977. Their made-from-scratch, buttermilk biscuits are often said to be the best in the state.
Flipside Cafe, Fort Mill Known for delectable farm-to-table dishes, this cafe has a way with biscuits, too. Try them with the house gravy or shoot the moon with the Fort Mill Flip Biscuit Bake featuring smoky bacon, cheddar cheese, sausage gravy and two eggs on a freshly made biscuit.
Just Us Café, Cayce These biscuits are to die for according to the folks who patronize this local institution. They can be enjoyed a variety of ways, including with chipped beef gravy or a slice of fried bologna.
Maple Street Biscuit Company, Simpsonville, Greenville and James Island Biscuits are king at Maple Street, where old-fashioned biscuit goodness gets contemporary treatment. Made from artisan flour and real butter, these traditional biscuits are transformed into complete meals. Consider the Firebird, a biscuit split and layered with a fried chicken breast, Buffalo sauce, cheddar, lettuce, tomato and house-made ranch dressing. Sweet tooth? Go for the French toast biscuits with strawberries and whipped cream.
Summerton Diner, Summerton Just like grandma's - that's the verdict handed down by many a diner after sampling the biscuits at this small-town cafe. The kitchen turns them out all day, so you can enjoy them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Sunnyside Café, Clemson Mammoth biscuits with all kinds of tasty fillings tucked inside keep customers coming back for more. Fried green tomato with egg, cheese and sausage is always in demand, though the biscuits with vegetarian gravy or locally made apple butter are also in vogue.
Vicious Biscuit, Mount Pleasant, Summerville Elevate your biscuit with signature jams and Vicious Biscuit toppings like fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and crab cakes. Names like "Fat Boy," "The Flame Thrower" and "The Vicious" are clues to the vicious nature of these two-fisted quick breads. Note: New location opening in 2023 in Columbia.